Episode:Jesus—The Way, the Truth, and the Life (Part 2)
The new helper which Jesus promised to send into the hearts of believers, to pour out upon all flesh, is the Spirit of Truth. This divine endowment is not the letter or law of truth; the new teacher is the conviction of truth, the spirit of living and growing truth.
Summary by Kermit
As a of preface to our reading, we were led through a careful examination of the words “enmity” and “enemy”, as well as “friend”, and their placement on the levels of meaning: enmity and enemy essentially meaning “NOT friend”, and friend denoting love at the sixth level of meaning. Thus, “NOT friend” denotes a sixth level of meaning in the negative sense, leading to implications for the lengths to which the enemies of the gospel would go to attempt to destroy it. As was mentioned, when persons exhibit the light of heaven in today’s world, witnesses thereto have one of three action-responses: to draw nigh, flee, or attempt to destroy. I strongly recommend visiting the archive of this broadcast for an illuminating step by step progression through the levels of meaning as a context for arriving at a deeper understanding of this discourse in particular and many of the Master’s other teachings.
3. Enmity of the World
Following the teaching on the vine and the branches, Jesus spoke further. He reminded his Apostles, whom he calls friends, that they in fact are in this world, but not of it, that they were chosen from the world to represent the spirit of another world, even to this world. He enjoined them to always remember his words. He further reminded them that the world, in hating him, would likewise hate them.
Jesus further distinguished between those who are ignorant of the light of heaven, and those who knowingly reject this same light. This saving heavenly light, when rejected becomes condemnation! Reference was made to the binary nature of choice between self and God, and the starkness of the consequences when operating at the highest levels of meaning. Admonition to believers here is to go slowly forward and up in the kingdom with intentional surefooted steps.
He continues, promising not to leave his friends alone when he goes to his Father, but to send a spirit helper that will take his place among them, teach them the way of truth, and even comfort them. Here the word comfort was explained as meaning to impart great strength, to fortify.
He encourages them to fear not and to continue believing in him. He acknowledges their inability to comprehend much of what he is saying, reiterating his need to return to the Father and assuring them that, while they can not now follow him, they will follow him to spheres on high in the ages to come.
It was to the material minded questions from Thomas and Philip, that the Master reiterated two of his most notable statements about himself. When asked to be shown the way to the Father, Jesus responded, I am the way, the truth, and the life. When asked to be shown the Father, Jesus said, He who has seen me has seen the Father. Appealing to his friends, he ends this portion of his address by saying, “Believe me when I say that the Father is in me and I am in the Father, or else believe me for the sake of the very life I have lived — for the work’s sake.
4. The Promised Helper
In describing the coming of the new teacher, the Spirit of Truth, Jesus reminds them that the Father’s spirit is already in their hearts, and they will receive his spirit, the spirit of living truth. Further, that unbelievers will not listen to this new teacher, the sons of light shall receive him with a whole heart, and the apostles will know this spirit as they have known him. Continuing his teaching, Jesus elaborates, explaining that this spirit will allow Him to be with the Apostles and all others who desire his presence simultaneously.
He further tells them in a matter of hours the world will see him no more, but his Apostles will continue to know him in their hearts, even until the new teacher comes. He promises that the new spirit will guide, comfort, and eventually lead them (and us) into all truth, even bringing to their remembrance everything he has taught them.
5. The Spirit of Truth
The SoT is not the letter or law of truth, nor is it to function as the form or expression of truth, but rather the conviction of truth, the consciousness and assurance of true meanings on real spirit levels.
This section also contained a warning of the consequences of trying to imprison truth in formulas, codes, and creeds.
Here Jesus goes through the levels of meaning, step by step, again using the golden rule. We are reminded that these levels of meaning are applicable to many other situations besides the application of the golden rule and must be appreciated if we are to arrive at an adequate understanding of the Master’s teaching regarding non-resistance to evil.
Herein, are we invited to embrace all six levels of meaning, in a whole-hearted fashion in our attempt to follow the Master and become more like God.
The final statement in this section clearly distinguishes between the old religion of self-sacrifice, and the new religion of self-forgetfulness.
And no amount of piety or creedal loyalty can compensate for the absence in the life experience of kingdom believers of that spontaneous, generous, and sincere friendliness which characterizes the spirit-born sons of the living God. Neither tradition nor a ceremonial system of formal worship can atone for the lack of genuine compassion for one’s fellows.
We will finish the last section of Paper 180 before going to our next reading.